Definition of oppress in English:



  • 1Keep (someone) in subjection and hardship, especially by the unjust exercise of authority.

    ‘a system which oppressed working people’
    • ‘He has oppressed our people and caused great hardship for too long.’
    • ‘He uses stealthy means to savagely oppress the common people.’
    • ‘As a country's economy grows, more men gain the material strength to exploit and oppress women.’
    • ‘He was a threat to his neighbors, and he oppressed his own people, and the world is better with him gone.’
    • ‘And we are going to stand up for people around the world, oppressed people, who want us to stand up for them.’
    • ‘Pompeo agreed, and realized she needed to tell her story and let people know ‘what it's like to struggle on assistance, and how the government is oppressing people.’’
    • ‘He is a vicious dictator, brutally oppressing his own people.’
    • ‘A group of youngsters demonstrated with great vigour, what it meant to stand up against the power of a foreign power that continued to oppress the people of India.’
    • ‘It's also true that they have been oppressing their own people and conducting a campaign of abuse against women that justifies international intervention.’
    • ‘He declares support for the oppressed but hasn't grasped that the people he supports are oppressing people in their own countries and are now attacking the very democracy that he lives in.’
    • ‘There should be a natural affinity between them and other oppressed people of India.’
    • ‘He speaks as the political representative of an imperialist nation which has brutally oppressed the people of the region for over a century.’
    • ‘The fact of the matter is these ‘freedom fighters’ are oppressing their own people.’
    • ‘He can only hope such action is measured, effective and does not add to the misery of some of the world's poorest and most oppressed people.’
    • ‘Who protests that people aren't oppressed enough?’
    • ‘Robin, isn't it a fact that oppressed people, when seeing freedom, will react in many ways we might not consider normal?’
    • ‘So we're going to fight for you against the people who are oppressing you.’
    • ‘It's about a brutal dictator who's oppressing his own people.’
    • ‘It argues that the modern world fosters institutions and ideas that exploit and oppress people and degrade and destroy the environment.’
    • ‘So when I rail against the corporate capitalist system that oppresses workers, I'm speaking from my own experience.’
    persecuted, downtrodden, abused, maltreated, ill-treated, tyrannized, subjugated, repressed, subdued, crushed, enslaved, exploited, victimized, misused
    disadvantaged, underprivileged, ground down, browbeaten
    persecute, abuse, maltreat, ill-treat, treat harshly, be brutal to, be cruel to, tyrannize, crush, repress, suppress, subjugate, hegemonize, subdue, subject, enslave
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    1. 1.1Cause distress or anxiety to.
      ‘he was oppressed by some secret worry’
      • ‘Animal spirits could be low, broken, oppressed, dejected, petulant, harassed or even ruffled beyond description.’
      • ‘On the way, London's ancient, massive buildings, black statues and dirt surround me, oppress and burden me.’
      • ‘I've gotten over being oppressed by it though and will carry on.’
      depress, make despondent, make gloomy, weigh down, lie heavy on, weigh heavily on, cast down, dampen someone's spirits, hang over, prey on, burden, crush, dispirit, dishearten, discourage, sadden, make desolate, get down, bring down, trouble, afflict
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  • 2Heraldry

    another term for debruise


Late Middle English: from Old French oppresser, from medieval Latin oppressare, from Latin oppress- pressed against, from the verb opprimere.